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Long Beach Personal Injury Law Blog

18-year-old motorcyclist dies in tragic accident

An 18-year-old who had recently graduated from high school was killed in a motorcycle accident in California, where he was going to college.

The accident happened on California Highway 101, where the teen was heading south. His school's astronomy club wanted to see the SpaceX Falcon rocket launch, and that's where he was headed.

What you should know about “reasonable accommodation”

Under California law, organizations (those that employ at least five people) are generally required to provide "reasonable accommodation" to employees who have physical and/or mental disabilities. The provisions for reasonable accommodation are detailed in the California Fair Employment and Housing Act.

Under this law, unless such accommodations would cause "undue hardship" for the organization and/or other employees, disabled workers must be given the accommodations they need to perform the functions required for their job. These accommodations must also be made for people who are applying for jobs.

Can you be denied time off for a religious observance?

Southern California workplaces are filled with employees from a multitude of ethnic, racial and religious backgrounds. Many businesses close for Christian holidays like Christmas. However, can employees who celebrate different religious holidays take time off to celebrate or observe those days without losing pay or otherwise being penalized?

Both federal law and California state law prohibit discrimination against employees based on their religion. California's Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) requires employers to provide necessary accommodations for employees' religious practices and beliefs as long as doing so wouldn't place undue hardship on the company or other employees. This includes allowing employees to take time off work for religious holidays and other observances.

Top safety tips for motorcycle riders this year

All motorcycle riders know that their chosen mode of transportation carries an inherently high level of risk. Motorcycle accidents, even at low speeds, can lead to serious injuries. If one driver makes one simple mistake, years of riding without incident can come to an end in a split second.

To prevent this, use these safety tips every time you go out on your bike:

  • Put on protective clothing. Always wear a helmet. Always wear clothes that can help protect your skin if you hit the pavement. No one plans to crash. Be ready if you do.
  • Wear something bright and reflective. As much as the black leather jacket is a staple of motorcycle culture, you're much safer with a reflective neon green jacket that drivers can see during the day or the night.
  • Practice defensive driving. Actively look for mistakes before they happen. Plan escape routes. Understand that other people can and will put you in danger. Be vigilant and observant.
  • Stick to the speed limit. When others do make mistakes, you want all the stopping time possible. Speeding just reduces your reaction time and puts you in extra danger.
  • Make sure your bike is in perfect condition. Check all the fluids, the tires and the brakes. Go over your bike regularly. Never ride if you find anything wrong with it that may reduce your control, especially in an emergency situation.

California female janitors taking classes to fight off attackers

Women who clean offices and other workplaces, often in the overnight hours after most people have gone home, are easy targets for sexual assault and other types of violence. Unfortunately, many fear reporting these incidents because they can't afford to lose their jobs. In some cases, they fear being deported because they're undocumented. Their status in this country makes them particularly vulnerable to abuse and assault.

In Los Angeles, female janitors (some of whom are already sexual assault survivors) are taking self-defense classes to help them be prepared to fight off attackers. A group called Ya Basta ("Enough is enough") teaches these classes.

Popular taco truck totaled in crash with semi in Fresno County

When you depend on a vehicle for business -- or when your vehicle is your business -- a collision can be financially as well as physically and emotionally devastating. One California family is dealing with the aftermath of such an event now.

Their taco truck was struck earlier this month in a chain-reaction crash involving a semitruck in Fresno County. The semi was traveling south on Highway 99 when it rear-ended the taco truck, according to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The driver of the taco truck reportedly lost control, struck two other vehicles and overturned.

Why it's a good idea for co-workers to discuss what they earn

Many people are uncomfortable discussing what they earn with others. That includes (and maybe especially applies to) colleagues. Many employers discourage or even try to prohibit employees from discussing salary and wages with one another.

That secrecy may allow pay discrimination to continue unabated in a workplace. As one labor law attorney explains, there are "still serious disparities in pay based on race and gender." She asserts that "policies that discourage or prohibit employees from discussing these are problematic not just because of the National Labor Relations Act's clear prohibition, but also because they can make it difficult for employees in the private sector to learn that there are unlawful disparities."

Lawsuit: Employers discriminate against blind job applicants

Most people use the internet to find their next job. Gone are the days of mailing out resumes. Virtually the entire process -- sometimes including the job interview -- takes place online. Many companies take job applications on their websites. However, what if you can't use those application systems because you're visually impaired?

That's the issue behind nearly a dozen federal lawsuits here in California. Plaintiffs are suing large employers, including Albertsons, GameStop and Hard Rock Cafe, because their online application systems aren't fully accessible to visually impaired job seekers who need to use the internet with the help of screen-reader software. In some cases, the plaintiffs made multiple requests to companies to make their job pages accessible before they took legal action.

Class action lawsuits may be worth pursuing for wage theft

Not receiving the proper pay for hours worked can devastate workers when it comes to their finances and their morale. You may have found yourself in a situation where your paycheck came up short again and again. At first, you may have thought it was a mistake, but you later suspected that your employer purposefully failed to provide you with the correct compensation.

When this happens, you may not be the only one affected. For larger companies that carry out these unjust practices, a substantial number of people could suffer a great deal. As a result, a class action lawsuit may suit the situation.

Lawmakers' proposal would provide paid leave for new parents

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires most employers to provide 12 weeks of leave for employees who need to take care of a family member. That guaranteed leave, however, is unpaid.

Now two members of Congress have proposed a plan that would be the first new federal family leave option in the 25 years since the FMLA went into effect. The proposed legislation, introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Ann Wagner, is called the Economic Security for New Parents Act. The proposed law would give new parents two months' paid leave to care for their new family members.

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